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Wednesday 27 March 2019

ℚ Soul of the Storm: Deerbourne Inn [7] - Jean M. Grant

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Soul of the Storm (, The Wild Rose Press, Inc, 133 pages), a Contemporary Romance, book seven in the Wild Rose Press' series, Deerbourne Inn.

"a lovely story about loss, learning to trust again, and moving on. [...] 
I read it in one sitting because I became so invested in the characters I simply had to know if they were going to achieve an HEA or go their separate ways. 

Jean Grant’s addition to the Deerbourne Inn series is a heartfelt love letter to how you deal with loss and guilt, how love can help you remember the good times, and how you can move on and live again.  
I highly recommend this wonderful read." ~ Peggy Jaeger, author 

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome back to Jean M. Grant; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!
"First, thanks for hosting me again.   I enjoyed my first blog tour stop with you and loved the YouYube video and the photos you inserted."
Thank you! It was our pleasure to host you :-)

What compelled you to write this particular story, Soul of the Storm?

"This story came in a flurry.  Most of my ideas percolate for a bit, or come and go, then I formulate them.  This one was already in the depths of my mind and when my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, sent out the call to its authors for a new novella (under 40,000 words) series called Deerbourne Inn.

This series revolves around a quaint fictional town called Willow Springs, Vermont, at an old B&B run by former top-NYC chef Nate.

I wanted to write a story set in New Zealand, but instead this one came forth: about a Maori/native New Zealand man living in Vermont who meets a woman haunted by the loss of a sister in a hiking accident."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Hmm, well Charlotte is greatly influenced by my own life’s circumstances but fictionalized of course.

My close friend, who is my critique partner, also thought my heroine was a bit like her, too. So, I took character traits that I knew well and layered them into Charlotte. I love hiking, too. I was so excited to write about two characters who loved the outdoors. I knew I had to write some sort of mountain hiking/rescue book. Furthermore, I lost my sister to a car accident when she was young. I took those feelings of loss and heartache and gave them to Charlotte."
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
"Not surprising but enlightening…I sought a few sensitivity readers for my hero, Matiu, to make sure I was both respectful to his experience of having hailed from another country and then living in the United States for ten years, and to his culture as Maori. I also recruited the help of a Vermont State Police officer, Search and Rescue Canine Unit coordinator, and a retired Civil Air patrolman to read my manuscript for accuracy. I learned a lot about VSP and SAR procedures."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I love all my covers. I tend to focus on setting and symbolism rather than the characters (leaving those to the readers’ imaginations). I love, love, love flowers and I’m pleased to see them bloom on the cover. Also, we have the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Patagonian peaks in the backdrop (from Charlotte’s backstory)."
Why should we read Soul of the Storm and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes the Deerbourne unique?
"I’ve been reading a bunch of the books in the Deerbourne Inn series. Each is its own story, with “regular” town characters overlapping, across genres, not just romance…and across subgenres: mystery, suspense, paranormal, historical, and contemporary. A bit for everyone! And why read a novella? Sometimes you need a shorter read. I have quickly become obsessed with them. Just enough kick. Just enough of everything. And not a long commitment."
Can you tell us something quirky about Soul of the Storm, its story and characters?
"I have two sons and never got to use my “daughter” name, which was Charlotte. I have a thing for lip balm, and so does Charlotte. And both my characters love to hike. I also live in New England so writing about a Vermonter and Massachusetts-born character were fun! I also went to New Zealand for my honeymoon and fell in love with the country and its people."
Who would you recommend Soul of the Storm to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Anyone! Novella (or novel) readers, series readers, and those who enjoy a contemporary romance as a healing story. Those who want to learn a bit more about hiking, the Maori culture, and life in New England.

My heat rating is spicy, and the romances are slow burns. No opening racy scenes, but the couples do eventually consummate their unions (about 2/3 through the book). If readers enjoy sweeter romances, it can still be enjoyed…just skim over those later scenes. I limit my profanity."
If you could / wished to turn Soul of the Storm into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I had a hard time pinpointing actors to play my characters when I daydreamed in a Google search (something I think all authors do). My characters are both in their mid-30s, and Charlotte is your typical New Englander, but is cautious, a bookworm, and former nature lover (don’t worry, I think Matiu helps her return back to her outdoorsy roots). Matiu is part-Maori (mother’s side) and a Kiwi mate through and through with his fun mannerisms and vernacular. He was a joy to write! Finding him in Hollywood would take a bit of work, but I’m sure he exists."
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?
"The 3 P’s are my motto and my greatest challenge. Patience, Putting in the time, and Perseverance. And rejection. Ouchie. Never fun! But you need to let that slide off like butter."
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
"It was years ago (by years I mean two decades) when I entered a contest. I was told my writing/language sounded like English was my second language. It’s not. (note: I commend anyone who moves to a new country and learns a brand new language). But I was born in the United States. So…I had to take that critique and analyze it. Where was I missing the mark with grammar and writing style? I was still young and new at this. Years later, practice novels later, and with my new love-hate relationship with grammar and I think I’ve got it down…but there is always room for improvement. I am always honing not just the craft, but writing itself. English has so many rules! So.Many.Rules. And things I just can’t keep straight (do not get me started on lay vs. lie no matter how many times I try!). I’ve learned to embrace them courtesy of Grammar Girl, Strunk & White, and Merriam-Webster."
What is in store next?
"Up next? Another book! It’s crazy, I know. I did not plan to have 3 books release back-to-back (February, March, and April). My next book is a contemporary women’s fiction. I can’t wait to share that one with the world, too!"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Can I share a photo of my critique partner these past 20 years? I look up to many folks and have had a range of influences (my mother, who was an artist and poet; my husband and children; famous authors and scientists, to name a few). But I have to say that Lorraine has been by my side through school years, during heartache, across states, and through every single one of my books from birth to completion (or shelving into the abyss of “practice novels”).  I don’t know where I’d be without her. You can find her on Twitter, too: @LRyan_Storms.  Her first book releases in April."
A big 'hello' to Lorraine from all of us at BooksChatter! We look forward to hosting you and your work soon!
Thank you for sharing, Jean :-)

One hurting heart, one restless spirit...
Can Charlotte and Matiu conquer a mountain rescue while finding love?

Soul of the Storm
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Jean M. Grant said...

Thanks for hosting me today! Hope the readers enjoy the interview. Today's question: what do you readers love about reading a series (of stand-alones)?

Sandra Dailey said...

Great review! Good luck Jean, and to Soul of the Storm.

Marisela Zuniga said...

Great interview, you picked a great cover